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Preparing for the Next Step

Since May, I’ve been working on my visual design work for personal projects.

To make these personal projects come to life, I’ve started a Patreon to fulfill my dreams.  While I crave out my lane, I have been revising and re-visiting some of my old designs. Looking at my first personal project, Brothas, allowed me to see my growth as an artist. The rudimentary look of the original designs has given way to more realistic humans (as the series is inspired by my childhood). That project is meant for children and their families as it portrays a Black family loving and living in today’s world. My other visual project, Losing Valarie, has seen more improvement in character design as I refine some of the original designs while creating new ones. With that project being an ensemble teen dramedy, I still have a ways to go before I feel it is complete. Much like Brothas, I centered the series about a Black character – this time a female. This project has gone through many evolutions since I first thought about her in my early 20s.

With those two projects on pause for a minute, I will start working on another still-untitled project. This one will be another series centered around two brothers and their crimefighting efforts. This is inspired by an idea from my undergraduate studies. Like the previous projects, I feel representation is key when it comes to animation especially given the social change currently going on worldwide.

While character design has been my main focus for a while, I plan on dealing with background designs for many of the projects. My work will be seen on my website (be on the lookout!)

Working on these projects allows me to tap into my creativity while creating something tangible when I get ready to present my ideas. While I prepare to get these shows off the ground, I’m still a few contests here and there as a way of getting my work seen.

With so much going on in the word, I see some bright spots as freelance offers to slowly trickling in. Social media has increased its importance in my work as I try recruiting more clients.

Everything will work out in 2020. What’s for you is for you, and what isn’t will fall to the wayside.

Keep your eyes peeled on my Instagram! Until next time, be your best creative self!

Preparing for the Future

I’ve been working on my visual design work for personal projects.

With client work being on pause right now, I have dedicated myself to creating some work to celebrate my culture. I’ll share more in the coming weeks through this blog and my Instagram page.  The project for the moment is re-starting my Black Music Month project. Due to some external circumstances, I couldn’t fully commit myself to create my vision. The endgame with the project is to pay homage to the men and women of music who helped to shape not only Black culture but culture as a whole. Each post focuses on the artists, innovators, and pioneers of rock, Hip Hop, R&B, soul, and pop whose legacy and influence continues to inspire others.

Besides that project, I will be revising some of my old designs and creating some new ones. Doing this will allow me to enter a few contests here and there over the next few months. This is my way of moving my career forward.

With the country starting to re-open, I’m hoping to get my freelance work back up and running. My social media game is about to go into overdrive as I start to look for more clients.

I know 2020 will turn around and work out for everyone 9even the doubters).

Keep your eyes peeled on my Instagram! Until next time, be your best creative self!

Working for More Creativity

Hello! I’m back! I know it’s been a minute since I last updated this blog. Now is the time for me to start doing my design work.

While I was away, I managed to get a few projects from various clients. I’ll share more of the results later on through the site. Expanding my client base has been a goal of mine, and it seems to be working.

I’m preparing to re-start my Black Music Month project from last year. I want to use my skills to pay homage to the men and women of music who helped to shape the culture. Each post will focus on the artists, innovators, and pioneers of Hip Hop, R&B, soul, and pop whose legacy and influence continues to inspire others.

Besides that project, I will be working on revising some of my old designs and creating some new ones. I plan on applying to some contests here and there as I move forward with my career as a content creator.

Keep your eyes peeled on my Instagram! Until next time, be your best creative self!

Celebrating Black Music Part 1

Welcome to The Creative Grind where all things visual exist! This blog will allow me to show my creative process for my art and visual designs.

Since it is Black Music Month, I decided to pay homage to the men and women who have affected the culture in some shape or form. This week’s post deals with the men of Hip Hop. I wanted to create something that would speak to the volume of the legacy each man holds within the genre. There were so many to choose from, but I narrowed it down to some of the best lyricist of all time.

Here are my source images:

Mt Rushmore

If you want to see the final result, check out my Instagram! Until next time, be your best creative self!

Beyond Just the Art

I took my animation inspiration even farther this week by attending ASIFA South’s 2nd Annual Animation Festival and Conference. Enjoy the peek into the world of animation.

Come back next week for more on my journey to creating my Master’s thesis.

Don’t be a stranger! Leave a comment below.

Scenes and Actions Part 2 – Creating Characters Through Actions

After speaking on the importance and difference in settings and scenes in crafting a screenplay, I’ll speak on the importance of creating your characters through actions. A character’s actions are essential in setting the tone and pace of a script.

A plot or story cannot move forward without the use of action. Each and every action a character makes helps in obtaining the end goal – a resolution. In some cases, a series of actions can leave the resolution open-ended for the audience to draw their own conclusions. In writing my pilot script, I found myself creating a serialized resolution where a strategic move on social media by my main character carried over to the next episode in the series. This allowed me to give my series a serialized focus not many animated series tend to explore.

A friendly tip from me to you is to create a loose outline of actions will happen in a scene. And I do mean loose outline as sometimes an action might seem okay in the initial stage, but doesn’t work when it comes to plotting out your screenplay.


Actions are all about being visual and timely. With most screenplays taking place in real time, you have to remember that the present tense is your best friend. It will help you keep straight what is going on in your character’s world. Throughout writing my screenplay, I had to keep in mind I was not writing a novel but a project that is meant for the small or big screen. Along with timeliness, action carries the plot visually as your characters exist on a realistic plane (real or fictional). In writing my screenplay, I found myself using various words to illustrate an action like walking – trotting, speeding, creeping. In one scene, I had to write about two characters walking down the hallway in their own ways to show more personality.

action (1)

Remember actions have their own levels within the script. Some are big and dynamic while others are nuance and subtle.  This keeps the screenplay from feeling monotone and uninspiring when someone reads the final product. Throughout my screenplays, I use a character’s actions to play in the relationship and dynamic with others. My main character tends to be affectionate and warm with her best friend while she tends to become timid and nonconfrontational when noticing or interacting with her nemesis.

When creating a character’s actions, you need to think about how they speak to the character’s personality and relationships.

In reading this post, I hope you will be able to craft actions that not only influence your characters but your story as well. But this isn’t the end of the conversation, you can leave comments below and discuss this even more with your fellow screenwriters along with myself.

Come back next week to read about coping and understanding the creativity stopper – writer’s block.

Character Development Part 2 – Dialogue and Actions

After looking at developing a character’s personality and character traits, I’ll be focusing on the importance of dialogue and action in shaping how your characters are perceived.

Every line of dialogue and action in your script should be tailor-made for the character you are writing. When writing for a character, remember to ask yourself these question: would he/she say those words? or Does that action go inline with their personality?

A trick I always use is thinking of the character and their voice when writing the script. A bonus for you would be to create character bios to help keep yourself straight when writing for multiple characters. Sometimes, things can get a little confusing, and those pieces of the puzzle can be a big help in the process.

Dialogue influences action and vice versa. Dialogue is the way a character expresses themselves either verbally or internally (for my inter-dialogue heads). It dictates the audience’s perception of a character – good or bad, nice or naughty, sardonic or good-natured. A character’s words are their calling card. Action, on the other hand, allows the character to express themselves with a sense of physicality. Your character can be a master manipulator, prankster, klutz, athlete, artist, etc. based on their actions.

Both are forms of expression that inform each other in a way that is realistic to human behavior. An action can set a character’s words into motion as a response to another character or a movement. Dialogue sets precedence for any action as a response to another character’s words or lack thereof.  Keep this in mind when writing and rewriting your screenplay.

A book I often refer to when writing dialogue and action:

Image result for writing the tv drama series

Writing the TV Drama Series by Pamela Douglas


Hopefully, this post helps you in formulating your actions and lines of dialogue for your script. But this isn’t the end of the conversation, you can leave comments below and discuss this even more with your fellow screenwriters along with myself.

Come back next week as I go more in-depth about creating the best dialogue for your character(s).

Character Development Part 1 – Traits and Personalities


Now, that we’re past feedback and the preliminary editing, I can get into the real matters at hand like dialogue, action. setting and this week’s topic – character development.

The key to any good script is creating great characters. These beings you write on the page help to bring your stories and ideas to life. Each character on the page is a part of you (whether consciously or subconsciously) when you begin writing or revising – fiction, non-fiction or equal parts – your screenplay.

This book can a major help in developing your characters:
Image result for the writer's journey

The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writer (3rd Edition) by Christopher Vogler

Let’s get into the business of personalities and personal traits. When writing a script, you must make sure that each character has their own distinct personality. Whether it’s an alpha (male or female), a sidekick or an antagonist, one-dimensionality is not accepted. Even villains have feelings and thoughts that make them complex. The best way to achieve this is by creating personality quirks that set them apart from other characters. A nervous tic. A personal secret. Anything that makes them stand out from the pack.

Here are the archetypes Vogler mentions in The Writer’s Journey:


The hero is the audience’s personal tour guide on the adventure that is the story. It’s critical that the audience can relate to them because they experience the story through their eyes. During the journey, the hero will leave the world they are familiar with and enter a new one. This new world will be so different that whatever skills the hero used previously will no longer be sufficient. Together, the hero and the audience will master the rules of the new world, and save the day.


The hero has to learn how to survive in the new world incredibly fast, so the mentor appears to give them a fighting chance. This mentor will describe how the new world operates, and instruct the hero about the innate abilities they possess while gifting the hero with equipment.


The hero will have some great challenges ahead; too great for one person to face them alone.  The journey could get a little dull without another character to interact with.


The herald appears near the beginning to announce the need for change in the hero’s life. They are the catalyst that sets the whole adventure in motion.  Occasionally they single the hero out, picking them for a journey they wouldn’t otherwise take.


The trickster adds fun and humor to the story. When times are gloomy or emotionally tense, the trickster gives the audience a welcome break by challenging the status quo. A good trickster offers an outside perspective and opens up important questions as they act as the comic relief to the story or the actions of the other characters.


The shapeshifter blurs the line between ally and enemy. Often they begin as an ally, then betray the hero at a critical moment. Other times, their loyalty is in question as they waver back and forth. Regardless, they provide a tantalizing combination of appeal and possible danger by creating interesting relationships among the characters, and by adding tension to scenes filled with allies.


The guardian, or threshold guardian, tests the hero before they face great challenges. They can appear at any stage of the story, but they always block an entrance or border of some kind. They were basically saying “Don’t pass go, return back to your nice bubble.” Then the hero must prove their worth through either tricky, intellect or action.


Shadows are villains in the story. They exist to create threat and conflict and to give the hero something to struggle against. Like many of the other archetypes, shadows do not have to be characters specifically. It can be any force preventing the hero from obtaining their goal.


One note to remember: archetypes are good, stereotypes are not. When writing, you must create characters that are complex beings (human or not) that have real thoughts and feelings. It makes your story more interesting and compelling. There’s no room for one-dimensional tropes.

By writing this post, I hope you are better equipped to take on characters’ personalities and traits. Just remember that story is important, but your characters are what make the story. But this isn’t the end of the conversation, you can leave comments below and discuss this even more with your fellow screenwriters along with myself.

Come back later this week as I speak more about creating a character’s actions and dialogue.


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